Anne Rice Cornerstone at AMC Networks is ‘Interview With The Vampire’

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AMC Networks is only a few short months away from launching the programming chief Dan McDermott’s “AMC Networks” “the biggest venture we’ve ever embarked upon from the ground up.”

A company that prides itself on being a high-end TV boutique will release a series adaptation of “The High-End TV Boutique” this fall. “Interview with the Vampire.”AMC hopes to be the cornerstone of a successful content franchise that is rooted in Southern Gothic culture based upon Anne Rice’s novels.

Check out the latest episode Variety podcast “Strictly Business,”McDermott describes the world-building process that started after the company signed a broad rights agreement in May 2020 to create all manner of content from 18 Rice books. This is an excellent example of how TV has become more competitive than ever. It allows for interconnected storytelling universes that are Marvel-level in scope, including podcasts, gaming, and shorts. It’s not the pilot season of old anymore.

“I envision us getting five to seven series over the next five or six years up on their feet, each one running four to six seasons, with primary main characters featuring significant stars that will get our universe up and on its feet for the next five to 10 years,” McDermott says.

Also currently in production “Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches,”Another title from the eccentric and well-known scribe, who died December 2021 at 80 years old. McDermott said “Mayfair,”Out “pretty soon” after “Interview.” It’s a brick-by-brick development process that is “thrilling”For an executive who was brought up by Fox Broadcasting Co. (and DreamWorks) and has previously worked as a producer. He joined AMC Networks March 2020.

“You have to develop supporting characters underneath those significant leads that can, and this is a process of discovery, some of these are in the books, some of these might be new characters, some of these might be characters that you have a small role and the books but would be created to have an oversize impact in a series, but that can ultimately after two or three seasons, or four seasons, spinoff and become the lead of their own series,”He says. “And then then you really start having fun, because then you then you can start pulling characters from different shows.”

McDermott’s range of experience in programming and production gives him good perspective on how the content industry is changing. He was drawn to AMC Networks by the company’s clear vision for how to position itself as a smaller player in a land of giants.

“We’re not competing with any of those other streamers. We’re complementary with them,” McDermott says. “Our value proposition is we aspire to be the best platform in the world at delivering premium marquee content for adults. That’s the only lane we swim in. We don’t do kids. We don’t do animation, sports, news, all that sort of stuff. We just want to live in the world of premium marquee content for adults.”

McDermott compares the Rice franchise’s building phase with the current work of the company on its orginal. “The Walking Dead”Series later in the year The graphic novel-inspired fantasy series has been a pillar of AMC’s schedule since 2010, inspiring multiple spinoffs to date. AMC is also working hard to create shows that are lower-budget for its niche streaming platforms like Sundance Now, Acorn TV, and Shudder.

McDermott states that AMC Networks is making a significant business out of the growing number of niche streaming players. “They don’t go broad but they go incredibly deep,”He spoke of the viewers of the targeted services.

“Strictly Business” It is Variety’A weekly podcast that features conversations with industry leaders about entertainment and media business. Each Wednesday new episodes are available on iTunes, Spotify Google Play, Stitcher, SoundCloud and Google Play. Click here to Subscribe Variety‘s free “Strictly Business” newsletter.

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